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Weekend recap: Luc Bruchet and Leslie Sexton win Canadian 5K Championship

Canada's top distance runners threw down fast times as road racing season begins

This past weekend, in-person road racing returned to several cities across Canada. Toronto hosted their annual Constantine Yorkville 5K, which attracted several of Canada’s top road runners, and in Quebec City, over 1,000 runners toed the line in the Laval 10K. Lastly, the Medavie Virtual Canadian 5K Championships ended after two weeks of virtual competition among the elites. 

The start of the Constantine Yorkville 5K Run

Canadian Olympians filled the field of the virtual Canadian 5K Championships, but it was Vancouver’s Luc Bruchet who won the 2021 title. Bruchet ran under the Canadian 5K road record time (13:49), which is under Ben Flanagan’s Canadian soil record of 13:56. But because the event was virtual and the course he ran on was unofficial, it is ineligible for Canadian records. Bruchet’s training partner, Justin Kent, finished second, in a time of 14:03 and Charles Philibert-Thiboutot was third (14:15).

In the women’s virtual race, Leslie Sexton triumphed over Tokyo Olympians Julie-Anne Staehli and Alycia Butterworth to win her first Canadian 5K title in 15:37. Sexton’s time beat her previous personal best by 28 seconds. Staehli finished second in 15:49, and Briana Scott of Vancouver rounded out the podium in 15:59. Scott continues her amazing season with another championship podium finish. (She placed second at the 10,000m championships in June.) 

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Mike Tate sprinting toward the finish line at the 2021 Constantine Yorkville 5K Run

In Toronto, the Yorkville 5K kicked off fall road racing season in Ontario. 2021 5,000m champion Mike Tate controlled the race from start to finish, outkicking Toronto’s Eric Bang for first in 14:45. Bang ended up finishing five seconds behind Tate for second in 14:50. Kyle Grieve of Etobicoke was third (14:55). Toronto’s Brittany Moran won the women’s race comfortably, crossing the finish line in under 17 minutes (16:46). Marathoner Carolyn Buchanan was the second woman across the line (17:21), and Liza Howard rounded out the podium for third (17:40).

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Thomas Fafard won the Laval 10 km in Quebec City on Sunday, over Montreal’s Matthew Beaudet, in 30:30. Fafard was third in the 5,000m at the 2019 Canadian Track & Field Championships and currently runs for the University of Laval. It was Beaudet and Patrice Labonte who battled it out for second place over the final 200m, with Beaudet ultimately beating Labonte to the line in 30:35.

Elisa Morin continued her run of podium finishes, winning the race in 35:32. Morin finished runner-up two weeks ago in the Montreal half-marathon. Anne-Laure Menard was the second woman to cross the finish line (35:56) and Catherine Gagne was third (36:06).